Western Zhou Chariot Burial Pit in Xian

Located near the Zhangjiapo Village in Mawang Town of Chang'an District in Xian City (a place for China tours for students) and on the west bank of the Fenghe River, the Western Zhou Chariot Burial Pit is a typical sacrificial tomb of slave society. Archeologists have confirmed that the system of burying living people with the dead began in the Shang Dynasty (16th - 11th century BC). At that time, many alive slaves were buried with the dead, killed or after committing a suicide for the slave owner and nobles believed that the tombs were their residence in the spiritual world after their death.

The rectangular pit is 5.6 meters (6 yards) long and 2 meters (2 yards) deep. Two 0.68 meter-long, 1.38 meter-wide wooden chariots standing over 0.45 meters tall (1.5 feet) are arranged side by side in the pit with their wheels facing east. Doors with a width measuring about 0.4 meters wide (1.3 feet) are located at the rear of the chariots. Railings made of small battens, with a width of 0.32 meters (1 foot) stand beside each door.

At that time, the chariot decorated in bronze was used in battle and hauled by four horses, while the chariot hauled by two horses and adorned in seashells was used mainly for transport. In the pit, six dead horses crouch directly opposite the chariots. These horses were obviously killed prior to the burial and arranged in this position. Heads of the horses are covered with silver beast-face ornaments. Under the chariot lies a skeleton, supposedly the wheeler of the tomb owner.

Western Zhou Chariot Burial Pit was unearthed in 1955. Besides, the research work has provided valuable information both in economic life and metal industry, woodworking and leather production in the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC).

The most tourists who visit China in Xian nearly don't know Western Zhou Chariot Burial Pit.

  1. 2013/02/27(水) 18:20:59|
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